The Bomb Cyclone and Addressable TV
05 January 2018 • tvsquared
Meg Coyle,
Content Director

We were hit with a “Bomb Cyclone” in NYC this week. While the name sounds ominous, it was, essentially, a snowstorm accompanied by high winds. Other than schools being closed for a day (which was more devastating for parents, like me, than the actual storm!), it was just another over-hyped winter weather event.

It’s human nature to over-hype – and not just about weather, but all aspects of life. Who doesn’t like a good story, a bit of excitement? Despite relishing in a little sensationalism, it’s also our responsibility to take a step back for a reality check. This applies to the business world as well, especially when inundated with start-of-the-year predictions on the tech and trends that promise to change the way we work.

Within the TV ad space, the ballyhoo has been all about addressable. But we need a good, old-fashioned dose of reality.

Addressable TV is all about targeting, buying the exact audience (household) rather than programming content. It’s the digital programmatic equivalent for TV. And while it represents a shift in the TV market, addressable is in its infancy. It’s a blip in the TV ad universe and has to tackle reach and frequency challenges before it can go mainstream.

Our Chief Strategy Officer, Kevin O’Reilly, recently did a Q&A on this topic with ExchangeWire. Not only is it a great overview of what addressable TV actually is, but it also details the partnerships, tech advancements and regulatory changes that have to happen before it becomes an option for most advertisers.

Perhaps most compelling is Kevin’s position on stronger TV ad targeting without the need for addressable:

“Brands and agencies shouldn’t wait to go out with more targeted TV campaigns. Advertisers can optimize TV without addressable. Analytics platforms offer near-real-time performance data on TV spots, providing the insights needed to learn more about audience TV habits, as well as the aspects of buys (days, programs, networks, etc.) that actually drive response. This information can then be used to continuously inform more targeted buys in the future.”

The Bomb Cyclone didn’t turn NYC into a windswept, frozen wasteland. But it forced us to stop, think, take precautions and slow down for a day or two. Addressable isn’t going to overhaul the way advertisers buy TV any time soon. But it’s indicative of a shift in the market and is helping to prompt advertisers to find new ways to make TV reach the right audiences (in the places and times they’re most likely to respond).

To read Kevin’s entire Q&A in ExchangeWire, click here.